Guest Blogger: Lisa Baxter, UGA Extension Forage Specialist
The Sunbelt Ag Expo’s Darrell Williams Research Farms provides an exceptional opportunity to highlight forage research in south Georgia. These hayfields provide an outdoor classroom for UGA Extension county agent in-service trainings, producer field days, and collaborative industry events.
There are multiple demonstrations and ongoing research trials in progress on the farm to address basic forage needs in addition to evaluating the integration of novel weed and insect management strategies into forage systems. The two-acre bermudagrass garden provides a field-scale comparison of the six most popular bermudagrass varieties in the Southeast. Here producers can interact with and evaluate these different varieties before selecting the best option for their own farm.
This area is also used for large-plot research trials to better simulate the yield impact of the treatments that would be observed on-farm. This area has previously been used for large-scale bermudagrass stem maggot research, but it is now being used to determine if Max O2 fertilizer improves herbage accumulation or forage nutritive value in bermudagrass hayfields beyond that achieved by 18-0-0-3. This research is sponsored by R.W. Griffin Industries and will be concluded in fall 2022.
Based on the results of multiple on-site evaluations, all hay acreage on the farm is now treated with the new pre-emergent herbicide from Bayer Crop Science called Rezilon. It was successful in controlling winter and summer annual weeds. We are also evaluating its effectiveness in controlling summer annual weeds while establishing bermudagrass. A new field of Tifton 85 bermudagrass was sprigged in June 2020. This field will not only improve the production potential of the farm, but it will also be used to demonstrate the importance of following establishment guidelines for a successful stand. This work is currently being repeated in Tifton.
For more forage information, please visit our website www.georgiaforages.com. Follow along with us (Georgia Forges and Lego Forage Specialist) on social media for timely research updates and important Extension recommendations. Also, plan to visit with forage specialists at Sunbelt’s Field Day on Thursday, July 21. Stop and chat a while to learn more about what may work best on your farm.